News The Latest: Weather service confirms 4 tornadoes in Michigan • Tornado touches down in Kentucky VERNON, Mich. (AP) — The Latest on a powerful storm system moving through the Midwest (all times local):7:40 p.m.Authorities say four tornadoes touched down in mid-Michigan during a fast-moving storm that swept across the state.National Weather Service meteorologist Danny Costello says two tornadoes struck Thursday in Shiawassee County. Homes were reported damaged, while power was knocked out to thousands of utility customers.Two tornadoes also touched down in nearby Genesee County.No injuries have been reported.The first tornado touched down about 6:45 p.m. Thursday near Corunna. The second touched down at 7:03 p.m. to the southeast around Vernon, about 21 miles (34 kilometers) southwest of Flint. Officials say the second tornado also touched down in nearby Durand about 7:05 p.m.The tornadoes that hit Genesee County struck the Flushing area just after 7 p.m. and just before 7:30 p.m. near Genesee Township.Lower Michigan also saw severe thunderstorm warnings, watches, flooding, high winds and hail as a late-winter storm system trekked across the Midwest._5:30 p.m.President Donald Trump says he has spoken to Nebraska Gov. Pete Ricketts and is praising first responders and emergency response teams for doing „a great job dealing” with flooding, high winds and road closures.Trump tweeted Friday that the people of Nebraska and across the Midwest, especially farmers and ranchers, are feeling the impacts from severe weather.Thousands of people have been urged to evacuate along eastern Nebraska rivers as a massive late-winter storm system has pushed streams and rivers out of their banks throughout the Midwest.Some residents in nearly 30 communities along the Missouri, Platte and Elkhorn rivers have been asked to evacuate._5:20 p.m.Wintry weather has knocked out power to a plant that treats wastewater draining from the Gold King Mine in southwestern Colorado.The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency says fluctuating electricity stopped the plant Thursday night.The agency says it doesn’t believe downstream drinking water will be affected, although a long-term shutdown could affect fish.EPA spokeswoman Cynthia Peterson said Friday operators haven’t been able to reach the plant because the access road is blocked by at least one avalanche. She says it could take several days to clear the road.The plant can be operated remotely.The plant was installed after the EPA inadvertently triggered a wastewater spill from the Gold King in 2015, contaminating rivers in Colorado, New Mexico and Utah._5 p.m.Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers has declared a state of emergency for much of the state as heavy rain and melting snow flood roads, fields and communities.Evers issued the declaration in an executive order Friday afternoon. The order directs all state agencies to assist with response and recovery and authorizes Maj. General Donald Dunbar to activate Wisconsin National Guard units as he deems necessary.Flooding has rendered several highways impassable in the state. Rescuers in Fond du Lac had to move residents to higher ground after flooding along the Fond du Lac River. Flooding along the East River in Green Bay has forced some residents to evacuate. Green Bay also closed school Friday._4:45 p.m.Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds has signed a disaster proclamation that would allow 15 additional counties in Iowa to be eligible for grant assistance to repair homes and cars and replace food or clothing caused by flash flooding.Reynolds on Friday added the counties to the list eligible for state help to the 21 counties in northern and western Iowa she included in a disaster proclamation on Thursday.Reynolds has also activated the state emergency operations center to coordinate the response to flooding and help monitor rapidly-evolving conditions.The National Weather Service has issued flood warnings for portions of Iowa and says flooding of some roads and fields could continue into early next week._4:30 p.m.Two Colorado campers have been found safe after they got caught in a late-winter blizzard that struck the region earlier this week.Authorities say 20-year-old Michael Lee Gomez and 19-year-old Olivia Megan Schack, both of Arvada, were found Friday west of Boulder.They had gone camping on Tuesday. The blizzard struck southeast Wyoming and northeast Colorado on Wednesday and Thursday, and the two took refuge in their car._4 p.m.Authorities say two tornados and possibly a third touched down in mid-Michigan as a late-winter storm system trekked across the Midwest .National Weather Service meteorologist Danny Costello says two tornados struck Thursday in Shiawassee County. Homes were reported damaged, while power was knocked out to thousands.Officials also are looking into a possible touchdown in nearby Genesee County.No injuries were reported.Costello says survey teams were out Friday afternoon gathering data on the storm and damage.The first tornado touched down about 6:45 p.m. Thursday near Corunna. The second touched down at 7:03 p.m. to the southeast around Vernon, about 21 miles (34 kilometers) southwest of Flint. Officials say the second tornado also touched down in nearby Durand about 7:05 p.m. Lower Michigan also saw severe thunderstorm warnings, watches, flooding, high winds and hail.
OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — Flooding in the central U.S. on Friday swamped small towns, forced some residents along waterways to evacuate, threatened to temporarily close a nuclear power plant and shut down stretches of a major river and an interstate highway, foreshadowing a difficult spring flooding season.
The high water, prompted by a massive late-winter storm, pushed some waterways to record levels in Nebraska, South Dakota, Iowa and Minnesota. The flooding was the worst in nearly a decade in places, though the situation was expected to improve quickly in many places over the weekend, according to Mike Gillispie, National Weather Service hydrologist in Sioux Falls.
But in eastern Nebraska, flooding worsened Friday and remained a big concern in the lower Missouri River region — which is a major source for the Mississippi River — with the weather service issuing warnings of high water along the river and its tributaries from southeastern South Dakota to St. Louis in Missouri.
About 45 miles northwest of Omaha, the town of North Bend — home to nearly 1,200 along the banks of the Platte River — emergency workers used boats to evacuate residents. Also Friday afternoon, officials asked residents of Valley, home to nearly 1,900 people just west of Omaha, to evacuate. Within hours of that request, anyone left in the city found all access in and out cut off by floodwaters from the Elkhorn River.
Officials in eastern Nebraska said more than 2,600 people living along the Missouri, Platte and Elkhorn rivers there had been urged to evacuate, as waters breached levees in several rural spots.
„Things are moving and changing at a rapid pace,” Douglas County Commissioner Mary Ann Borgeson said Friday at a news conference. „We need you to follow instructions and evacuate when we say you need to evacuate.”
President Donald Trump on Friday tweeted that he had spoken to Nebraska Gov. Pete Ricketts about the flooding. The president also praised first responders and emergency response teams for doing „a great job dealing” with flooding, high winds and road closures.
Rising waters on the Missouri River also led Iowa officials on Friday to shut down much of Interstate 29 from the Missouri state line north about 85 miles (137 kilometers) to about Missouri Valley, Iowa. The closure was reminiscent of historic flooding along the river in 2011 that saw segments of the interstate in western Iowa washed away. Officials on Friday said the river is expected to crest well below what was seen in 2011.
Wisconsin’s governor declared a state of emergency Friday as flooding worsened, and Iowa’s governor expanded an emergency proclamation issued a day earlier.
The U.S. Coast Guard shut down all traffic on the Missouri River from about 50 miles (80.5 kilometers) south of Omaha, Nebraska, downstream to St. Joseph, Missouri on Friday, a stretch of about 70 miles (112.7 kilometers).
The Coast Guard and Corps also requested all river vessel operators create as little wake as possible between St. Joseph downstream to Kansas City to minimize levee damage.
The restrictions came as the river reached moderate flood stage at nearly 32 feet on Friday at Omaha, where it’s expected to crest at nearly 34 feet on Monday, according to the National Weather Service. The river is expected to crest at St. Joseph on Tuesday at just over 30 feet. Major flood stage at St. Joseph is 27 feet.
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, which manages the river, drastically increased releases from Gavins Point Dam in southeastern South Dakota due to limited storage capacity behind the dam for the excess runoff. The releases are expected to worsen flooding downstream, though the agency was helping with levee monitoring and other flood response measures, and it stopped releases from Fort Randall Dam upstream from Gavins Point.
The swollen Missouri threatened a nuclear power plant in southeastern Nebraska. The Nebraska Public Power District said it was likely the Cooper Nuclear Station about 59 miles (95.5 kilometers) south of Omaha would be shut down early Saturday.
Officials are confident that the flooding around the plant presents no danger to the public, power district spokesman Mark Becker said.
The storm also significantly increased spring flood worries in the Red River Valley in the Upper Midwest, where the neighboring cities of Fargo, North Dakota, and Moorhead, Minnesota, experienced a record flood 10 years ago.
The two cities have implemented several measures such as home buyouts and levees since then. They could be tested this year. The National Weather Service in an updated outlook Friday said „significant” snowmelt flooding is likely in the valley. The chance the river will reach major flood stage in Fargo increased from 50 percent last week to 90 percent.
The midweek storm crippled parts of Colorado and Wyoming with blizzard conditions . Thousands of homes and businesses were still without power Friday in Colorado, mostly in the Denver area, although crews worked throughout the day to restore electricity.
The storm also spawned at least three tornadoes in Michigan and Indiana on Thursday, according to the National Weather Service. There are no immediate reports of any injuries, but homes and trees were damaged and power was knocked out to thousands. Flooding, hail and strong winds also were reported in parts of the two states. The weather service recorded a 60 mph (97 kph) wind gust at Indianapolis International Airport.
For the latest developments in this story: https://apnews.com/99c572c0cfa643a28bacccb0f31fb4d4
Contributing to this report were Associated Press reporters Josh Funk in Omaha, Nebraska; Dan Elliott in Longmont, Colorado; David Pitt in Des Moines, Iowa; Bob Moen and Mead Gruver in Cheyenne, Wyoming; Gretchen Ehlke in Milwaukee and Nelson Lampe in Omaha, Nebraska.